CARBONDALE — By the end of Thursday’s special meeting, the Southern Illinois University Board of Trustees had not appointed a chancellor of the SIU Carbondale campus.
The all-day, closed-session meeting, which included interviews with the four candidates for the position, began at 9 a.m., and board members deliberated well into the evening.
“We have had a very successful interview session, we have a lot of work done, but we are bound by posting requirements and contract considerations to not take action tonight. We have no board action item that we can take,” said board chair Randal Thomas.
SIU System President Randy Dunn said he would not anticipate another special meeting before the board’s next regular meeting, which will be held July 13 at SIU School of Medicine in Springfield.
“We can’t be offering contracts tonight … but from the progress that was made today, that’s going to lead to further discussion with individuals, and that’ll be shared with the board in an appropriate manner not violating anything relative to Open Meetings, et cetera. And from that, try to move forward so that we have a contract to present at that July board meeting in Springfield,” Dunn said.
It has been about three years since SIUC has had a chancellor without the “interim” qualifier. Interim Chancellor Brad Colwell, one of the four finalists under consideration, has served in the role since September 2015.
The remaining candidates include Oakland University President George Hynd, Fisk University Provost and Vice President Rodney Hanley, and University of Alberta Professor and Ingenuity Lab Founder Carlo Montemagno.
Asked whether the board had reached a consensus, SIU System President Randy Dunn said, “I think in terms of looking at the relative merits of the candidates, I think the board did come together well around those things. Now it’s going to be an issue of having discussions, subsequent discussions with candidates, given what we’ve learned today that the board is looking at and looking for, to see where everyone is.”
Colwell’s contract expires June 30. Dunn said that the board would consult Colwell about continuing in the role between July 1 and the next meeting; Dunn would have authority to act in the role of chancellor if necessary, a policy he employed after the death of then-Interim Chancellor Paul Sarvela in November 2014.
At a special meeting in May, the board tabled the appointment of a chancellor. At that meeting, Thomas said that the board members wanted to personally interview the candidates because there were differences of opinion concerning recommendations about who would be the best candidate.